A Historical Perspective
The current partners of Mauldin & Jenkins, Certified Public Accountants, in appreciation for the heritage and related successes they enjoy, have compiled the history of the firm. This documentation serves as a permanent record of the firm’s beginnings and its progressions for future generations.
Photograph depicts Current Managing Partner Donny Luker; Former Managing Partners Elton Wolf, Will Kidd and Charlie Jenkins
Mauldin & Jenkins originated during the depression years with revenues of less than $10,000 and evolved to the regional firm that it is today. Factors contributing to this historical perspective include firm leadership, clientele and geography. The original accounting practice upon which Mauldin & Jenkins was built began with Louis B. Poole. Prior to 1920, Louis provided accounting and tax services to clients in South Georgia.
During the 1920’s, the firm of Mount & Carter, an established firm with offices in Brooklyn, New York; Boston, Massachusetts and Atlanta, Georgia entered the Albany market and acquired Louis’ accounting practice. As was common in sole proprietorships, few records of services rendered were retained.
In 1941, a record keeping system was established that included documentation of services provided by Louis as far back as 1920. Excerpts from this record keeping system are as follows:
|Bank of Warwick||Directors Report||1920|
|Ferrel-Wight Co.||Tax returns||1920|
|U-Save-It Drug Store||Balance Sheet and Income Statement||1921|
|Slappey Farm & Dairy||Partnership Tax Return||1921|
|Estate of D. Owens||Planning and Returns||1922|
|YMCA of Albany||Audit||1924|
The first Albany Mount & Carter office was located in the old C&S building, downtown at the corner of Washington Street and Oglethorpe Boulevard. The practice was later relocated to the Eastman Building on Pine Avenue with office space above the U-Save-It Drug Store.
B. Frank Wells assumed limited management responsibility within the South Georgia practice. Leadership for this branch was provided through the Atlanta location of Mount & Carter.
During the next five years, there was limited communication between the offices concerning operational objectives. Although the firm shared the same name, the personnel at each location developed their own business style.
Louis later retired and received payments totaling $25 per month, a successful retirement income for the times.
The Albany location first received formal leadership in 1941 when Ted S. Mauldin was assigned to South Georgia.
Ted was born in the farming community of Cairo, Georgia in 1913. After completing his primary education, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology. Ted supported himself through his musical talents and was known to play in various bands.
After graduating from college in 1931, Ted and a friend did the “in thing” and headed for California. Like others, the two ran out of money before reaching their destination and ended up in El Paso, Texas.
But “busting” did have its benefits; El Paso was where Ted met his future wife, Mary Harris, a senior in high school. Mary, born in North Carolina, had moved to Texas with her family at a very young age.
Ted and Mary married in 1934 and moved to Atlanta where Ted accepted his first full-time accounting position with Mount & Carter.
Seven years later, Ted was sent to Albany to investigate the activities of the management in that office. After a complete investigation, Ted dismissed Mr. Wells.
During the assignment, the Mauldins decided that Albany was a good place to rear a family and they settled there in 1941, just before Pearl Harbor. Ted then assumed the management responsibilities for the local office.
Ted emphasized the production of quality products and utilized hands-on experience in the effective training of staff. His common practice was to require staff to accompany him to clients’ offices. During these work sessions, the staff would participate in client conferences and perform professional services.
Ted emphasized the quality of work and expected a fair price for the services performed. When asked by a potential client what the fee would be for his services, he often replied, “A hell-of-a-lot!”
In 1949, Charles W. Jenkins moved to Albany and joined Mount & Carter after being with Deloitte Haskins & Sells for three years.
Charlie was born in the small town of Vienna, Georgia in 1922. At the age of 11, he moved with his family to Milledgeville, Georgia. Charlie attended high school and junior college at Georgia Military College and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science Degree in accounting.
Charlie joined the United States Army and served for four years which included time in World War II. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after receiving the Purple Heart. Here is an article featuring Charlie and his service in the army: Charlie Jenkins “A Great American”
After his tour of duty, Charlie married Emily Knight “E.K.” Baston and they later returned to South Georgia.
Also in 1949, Ted Mauldin and Gene McAlpine were the local partners of the Albany office. No written agreement governed the Mount & Carter partnership.
Bill Carter, a partner with ownership in all of the Mount & Carter locations, had only a high school education and was known as a great public relations person. At this time, to become “certified,” individuals had to take an international correspondence course and pass the exam.
Bill was a member of and served as president for the National Association of Cost Accountants. Other than his professional affiliations and an occasional visit, he offered little support to the South Georgia office.
Ted owned a percentage of the Albany practice and the remainder was controlled by the Atlanta partners. With more profits being funneled to Atlanta than being retained in Albany, Ted realized the relationship with the Atlanta partners was more expensive than it was worth.
In 1956, there were many local firms in Georgia but there were few regional or large firms. The Atlanta economy was beginning to grow significantly and the large firms were beginning to enter the market. Coopers & Lybrand, who was then Lybrand, Ross Brothers and Montgomery, entered the Atlanta market by acquiring the Atlanta office of Mount & Carter.
The Lybrand firm was not interested in the Albany location and Ted and his associates had no desire to be part of a national firm. The firm split and the Albany office became T. S. Mauldin & Associates.
T. S. Mauldin & Associates included Ted Mauldin, Charlie Jenkins and Bob Merchant. Shortly after the division, Bob left the firm to begin his own local accounting practice. Ted Mauldin and Charlie Jenkins then gave the firm its current name, Mauldin & Jenkins.
Due to the lack of structure in the firm, Charlie’s first two years as a partner resulted in negative capital. He then recognized the need for a written partnership agreement. This agreement would detail how the partners would participate in ownership and profitability. Base information to prepare the first partnership agreement came from Alexander Grant & Co. of Chicago, Illinois. This firm was owned by Maurice Stans, a member of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Charlie utilized this information to structure the agreement.
Charlie so effectively developed the agreement that few changes have been necessary. The basic agreement serves as the binding element of the partnership today. The agreement has also been utilized by many other firms as the basis of their partnerships.
Charlie Jenkins led the firm from a sole proprietorship to a firm with multiple partners and locations. The Macon and Griffin offices were added during Charlie’s term.
Proper management structure for accounting firms was insufficient and, in some cases, nonexistent. There were no manuals available on managing an accounting practice. Charlie developed the “business end” of a CPA firm with little guidance from the profession.
Charlie’s professional association also greatly influenced the advancement of the firm. He and Ted strongly believed professional affiliations were crucial to firm progress and the maintenance of quality products and services.
Charlie served on the Executive Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for 11 years. He participated in Associated Accounting Firms International (AAFI) and Managing an Accounting Practice Committee (MAP).
Charlie credits his association with Associated Regional Accounting Firms (ARAF) for information utilized in developing Mauldin & Jenkins’ management structure. He actively participated in Large Local Accounting Firms (LLAF) which was an association of CPA firms in Georgia.
During the early years, Charlie and Ted believed they would “have it made” if they could generate total gross fees of $100,000. These ambitious goals would one day be reached and serve as a bench mark for future successes.
The firm earned an excellent reputation with bankers, attorneys and other business professionals by providing the highest quality of client service through the preparation of financial information and tax services. Many clients requested financial statements labeled “without audit”, which required minimal accountant involvement. Mauldin & Jenkins made a common practice of exceeding those standards.
Major clients included Flint River Cotton Mills and National Bellus\Hess, a company that competed with Sears, Roebuck and Company. Other significant clients included First State Bank, Fort Gaines Banking Company, Albany Coca-Cola, Cuthbert Coca-Cola, Crown Tuff Carpet Mills and Sullivan Lumber Company.
After many years of leadership and serving the maximum of nine years as Mauldin & Jenkins’ first managing partner, Charlie began preparing for retirement. William W. Kidd was elected to serve as the managing partner.
Will graduated in 1963 from the University of Georgia and immediately joined the United States Army. After serving two years in the Army, Will began his accounting career at Mauldin & Jenkins.
Will’s accounting career began under the direction of Ted Mauldin and Charlie Jenkins. Will contributed significantly to the development of the firm’s long-term health care practice, managed the Macon and Albany office and served as the second managing partner.
Will began his managing partner service in 1982. He recognized that Charlie had centered his leadership on obtaining and developing the best people. Will realized that, in order to fully utilize this talented resource, the firm must expand its markets.
Will directed the firm through a time of expansion. During this period, offices in Augusta, Thomson, Marietta and Douglasville were added to the existing locations of Albany, Macon and Griffin. Large client growth required the number of partners to be increased from eight in 1982 to 23.
In addition to his firm responsibilities, Will served as a member of the State Board of Accountancy and as Chairman of the State Board. Among other professional affiliations, Will was a charter member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Technical Issues Committee.
Monty W. Rogers was elected to serve as managing partner after Will’s full-term service ended in 1991. Monty graduated from the University of Georgia in 1966. He immediately joined the U.S. Air Force where he served for more than four years.
In 1971, Monty began his accounting career at Mauldin & Jenkins in Albany and moved to Macon in 1975. He focused on developing extensive, long-term client relationships and became partner-in-charge of the Macon office in 1982.
Monty believed each partner could make a difference in the firm by committing to a higher level of service and performance. He maintained that the future of the firm depended on the continued development of comprehensive client relationships.
Monty’s approach as managing partner included a “re-dedication to individual commitment”. This commitment generated notable, but controlled growth.
Elton Wolf became Managing Partner on September 1, 2000. Elton graduated from Auburn University in 1972 and spent his entire career at M&J. Elton’s philosophy was to focus on what we do best as a firm and do more of that. He began to focus the firm on its core competencies with an emphasis in the audit area.
Elton was not aware on September 1, 2000 of the major events that were about to reshape the accounting profession and change the United States’ sense of security. On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists, which changed the nation significantly. These terrorist attacks on the U.S. were some of the most significant historic events since the end of WWII. Additionally, in the Fall of 2001, Enron imploded. The Enron collapse set in motion a series of events that caused the most critical changes in the accounting profession since the 1930’s.
The resulting passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, required the establishment of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) had a major impact on Mauldin & Jenkins. The Firm’s earlier focus on what it does best positioned Mauldin & Jenkins very well for this new environment.
In 2001, the Firm’s revenue passed $15,000,000.
The year 2004 was a big year for Mauldin & Jenkins. The Firm opened an office in Birmingham, Alabama on June 1, 2004. Hanson Borders transferred from Atlanta to Birmingham as partner-in-charge of that office. The Atlanta office relocated to 200 Galleria Parkway on October 11, 2004. These two events allowed the Firm to grow at a more rapid pace than in the past. The Atlanta relocation provided space for additional staff and more efficient support processes. The opening of the Birmingham office provided a new geographic market area in which the Firm could grow.
During Elton’s term as Managing Partner, the Firm’s net fees more than doubled. The Firm’s revenue passed $30,000,000 in 2008. The growth was all internal as there were no mergers or acquisitions during this time period. The Firm also added a significant number of new partners during this period to better serve the existing clients and to provide a sufficient partner base for growth during this period and beyond.
Donald L. Luker was elected as Mauldin & Jenkins’ fifth Managing Partner in August 2009. This was in the midst of the economic recession that began in 2008. It has been an extremely challenging time for our country, state, and community. Although our economy is still in a state of recovery, Donny was able to provide growth for Mauldin & Jenkins through the acquisition of Evers & Fox PC, Atlanta, GA and also CPA Associates, PLC, Bradenton, FL. This boosted our estimated revenues to $38,500,000. On June 1, 2013, Mauldin & Jenkins acquired the firm of Hazlett, Lewis and Bieter, PLLC in Chattanooga, TN. As a result of the combination, Mauldin & Jenkins will have approximately $46,000,000 in net fees, 45 partners, and approximately 280 people. Donny is currently serving his second term.
This historical perspective was assembled to assure that the heritage the partners respect and enjoy will continue, intact, for future generations.